D&C stands for dilation and curettage, a procedure that uses two techniques to access the uterus and scrape the lining. A D&C may be performed to:
D&C procedures are performed under anesthesia. The patient will be positioned on her back on the surgical table and the vaginal canal is widened with a speculum. The cervix is washed and held in place with a special clamp. The cervix is dilated (opened) either with medication or by using a very slim, rod-shaped instrument or rod. Once the cervix has been dilated, an instrument called a curette will be used to scrape the lining and a suction device may be used to vacuum away any remaining tissue. Tissue samples will be sent to a lab for analysis. Most procedures take about 15 to 20 minutes. Sometimes, a hysteroscopy will also be performed, using a special instrument to view the interior of the uterus.
Once the D&C is complete, patients may experience cramping and bleeding or spotting for a few days. Sanitary napkins and pain medication can be used until these issues subside. Most women return to their regular activities within a day or two of their procedure. Sex and use of tampons may need to be avoided initially to enable the uterine lining to heal and to prevent infection. After a D&C, most women experience a shift in the timing of their menstrual cycle, with the next period occurring earlier or later than normal. Although most D&C procedures are uneventful, women should report any unusual signs like fever, vomiting, very heavy bleeding or unusual vaginal odor following the procedure. When a biopsy is performed, results are generally available within a couple of days.
Sometimes these can be an HMO, please call our office to verify: Medi-Cal and Medicare. For the following, we accept PPO and HMO (medical group needs to be Allied Pacific or Healthcare Partners): Aetna, Cigna, Blue Cross, Blue Shield, HealthNet and United Healthcare.
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